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Current Affairs 3rd November 2018

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Shillong to host Indian Cherry Blossom Festival from Nov 14

Shillong is set to host the second edition of the India International Cherry Blossom Festival between November 14 and 17. This is the world’s only autumn cherry blossom festival. This festival attracted more than one lakh visitors last year, boosting the local economy by 300 per cent. Meghalaya Chief Minister – Conrad K Sangma

INS Viraat to be converted into a floating maritime museum soon

INS Viraat will be India’s first decommissioned aircraft carrier that will be turned into an adventure and maritime tourism. It will host activities like scuba diving, luxury hotel, cafeteria and other adventure sports. At present, Viraat is at Mumbai’s Naval dockyard after its decommissioning in 2017. As per the Maharashtra government’s Rs 852-crore plan for Viraat, the ship’s conversion will be on public- private- partnership (PPP) basis. The world over, only seven aircraft carriers have been converted into museums, theme parks and luxury hotels.

Kolkata tops ‘Ease of Moving Index 2018’ by Ola Mobility Institute

Kolkata tops in public transport index in terms of cleanliness and affordability of public transport. New Delhi was rated highly in terms of safety and ranked the best among the big cities in affording parking space to its residents. Patna and Bhubaneswar topped the list for growing and emerging cities.

Chola MS renewed its partnership with IndusInd Bank

Chola MS General Insurance has renewed its bancassurance partnership with IndusInd Bank for a further period of five years. Chola MS General Insurance a joint venture between Murugappa group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company of Japan. The partnership is to roll out more digital innovative insurance solutions, especially in claims servicing that will ensure the adoption of more products per customer.

India-Japan first joint military exercise ‘Dharma Guardian-2018’ began in Mizoram

Being first of its kind, the 14 days long joint exercise is being conducted from 01 Nov 2018 to 14 Nov 2018. The Japanese contingent is being represented by 32nd Infantry Battalion while the Indian side is being represented by Gorkha Rifles.

PM Modi launched portal for granting loans of up to Rs 1 crore in 59 minutes

GST-registered Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) can now avail of loan of up to Rs 1 crore in just 59 minutes. Over 72,000 MSMEs have been sanctioned loans worth over ₹23,500 crore through the portal till date. Further, the mandatory sourcing limit by state-run companies from MSMEs has been increased to 25% from the previous 20%. Modi added that companies above a Rs 500 crore will now have to compulsorily be a part of TReDs (Trade Receivables Discounting System), which will also include PSUs.

RBI allowed banks to provide PCE to NBFC bonds

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permitted banks to provide Partial Credit Enhancement (PCE), or a partial guarantee, to bonds issued by systematically important Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) and Housing Finance Companies (HFC). The move is to enhance their liquidity position. It also said that the bonds backed by PCE from banks should only be utilised for refinancing the existing debt of the NBFC-ND-SIs/HFCs. Banks should introduce appropriate mechanisms to ensure that the end-use condition is met. The exposure of a bank by way of PCEs to bonds issued by each such NBFC-ND-SI/HFC shall be restricted to 1% of capital funds of the bank within the extent single/group borrower exposure limits.

Larsen and Toubro to get USD 200 bn solar power project in Saudi Arabia

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) plans to bid for an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for a section of the $200 billion solar projects in Saudi Arabia to be built with the backing of Japan’s SoftBank. Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and SoftBank signed a MoU to invest in building the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia. This project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. The first two solar parks are expected to generate 7.2 GW and construction work is scheduled to begin by next year. On the timeline for bagging the project, there occurred some pressure in the Saudi market so it was reasonable to expect it in 12 months.

Russia to hold Taliban meeting

Russia has quietly invited a group of senior Afghan politicians to talk with the Taliban in Moscow. This talk has bypassed President Ashraf Ghani’s government and has angered officials in Kabul who say it could muddle the U.S.-backed peace process. The Afghan officials also said that the government was unhappy that Moscow was pressing ahead with plans for talks. In August, Russia proposed to hold multilateral peace talks in Moscow and invited 12 countries and the Taliban to attend a summit the following month. But President Ashraf Ghani rejected the invitation on the grounds that talks with the Taliban should be led by the Afghan government and hence the meeting was postponed. The U.S. had also declined to attend.

President Ram Nath Kovind to address first convocation of AIIMS in Uttarakhand

President Ram Nath Kovind will visit Uttarakhand on Saturday and address the first convocation of the AIIMS, Rishikesh. He will also inaugurate the first Gyan Kumbh.

China launches new high-orbit satellite to boost its BeiDou global satellite navigation system

This is the first BeiDou-3 satellite in high orbit, nearly 36,000 km above the Earth. It will follow the Earth’s rotation, in a geostationary orbit, and will view the same point on Earth continuously. The satellite will serve countries in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). BeiDou global satellite navigation system will be the fourth global satellite navigation system after the US GPS system, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.

Imran Khan visits China to rework all weather ties

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan arrived in Beijing to rework all-weather ties with China and keeping the door open for the re-entry of West-backed International Monetary Fund (IMF) into his country. Mr.Khan was welcomed by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People. His visit is after reinforcing Islamabad’s bonds with Saudi Arabia. Talks between the two leaders commenced when Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have reached an alarming low of around $8 billion, barely sufficient to finance about two months of imports. Current account deficit in the financial year that ended in June was around $18 billion.

Justice Ramesh Ranganathan appointed Chief Justice of Uttarakhand

He served as the senior-most judge of the Hyderabad High Court. He replaces Justice KM Joseph who was promoted to the Supreme Court. Ramesh Ranganathan was administered the oath by Uttarakhand Governor Baby Rani Maurya in Raj Bhavan, Dehradun. Ramesh Ranganathan was born in Delhi on July 28, 1958. He was a Government Pleader from 1996 to 2000.

HAL to open Light Combat Aircraft unit in Nashik

R. Madhavan, Chairman and Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., said that HAL plans to manufacture Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) fighters at a new unit in its Nashik complex after completing the deliveries of Sukhoi-30. The licence production of the last 24 Sukhoi-30 MkIs is due to end there in March 2020. Currently, the Sukhoi-30 are manufactured in the Nashik’s MiG Complex and the two units in Bengaluru produce LCAs. In the last two years, HAL has been investing around Rs.1,300 crore to increase the production rate of LCA. A part of this amount would be used to put up the third LCA unit in Nashik.

KSOU along with BoM to approve new courses in the next academic year

Karnataka State Open University (KSOU), Mysuru along with its Board of Management (BoM) approved to introduce new courses from the next academic year. The BoM is to introduce Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), MA in Education (equivalent to MEd), MSc in Botany and Zoology, BSc with PCM and CBZ combination, BSW and MSW. The State government sought some clarifications over the PG diploma courses and it had been clarified as UGC approval for them was not required with they being non-technical diploma courses.

India Pavilion inaugurated at Videocitt 2018 in Rome Film Festival; India was the partner country for RFF

India was the partner country for the event that focused on Virtual Reality, Video gaming, Animation, Film Making. It was organized along with Rome Film Festival and Mercato Internazionale dell’Audiovisivo (MIA) (the International Audio Visual Market). India’s participation at Videocittà 2018, Rome was organized by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and coordinated on Ministry’s behalf by FICCI. The delegation focused on showcasing diversity in films in India and collaborations with various other countries. The Indian Pavilion was inaugurated by Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting Shri Ashok Kumar Parmar.

India to get U.S. sanctions waiver on oil trade with Iran

Eight countries are given exemption once U.S. sanctions against Iran kick in on November 5. India is one among the 8 countries that will receive a waiver from U.S. sanctions on oil trade with Iran. On May 8, the U.S. President Donald Trump announced that it is pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. Sanctions imposed prior to nuclear deal are re-triggered. These targets Iran’s ability to purchase U.S. dollar notes and trade in metals, besides other currency transactions. From November 4, other sanctions will kick in targeting Iran’s oil exports and energy sector. On November 2, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that 8 countries including India, which is the second largest importer of crude oil from Iran, will receive sanction waivers to keep buying oil.

First Annual Senior Care Conclave Igniting Industry for Indias Ageing Sector held in New Delhi

The function was hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with Columbia Pacific Communities as their Premium Partner. Hon’ble Minister of State for Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Ms. Anupriya Patel released the CII report“Igniting Potential in Senior Care Services”. The main aim of the conclave to discuss, debate and catalyze the growth of the sector by unlocking latent and potential opportunities. It consists of 4 plenary sessions and 2 special sessions. Plenary Session 1: CEO Panel Discussion on Senior Care Sector – emerging trends. The focus of the plenary session was on ways to unlock the potential of the Senior Care sector. Plenary Session 2: Inclusive Growth and dev for elders in India – bridging the gap. The session was powered by Columbia Pacific Communities. Special Plenary Session 1: “International Best Practices in Senior Care”. The session highlighted best practices and globally relevant trends in the sector. Plenary Session 3:”Inspiring capital markets to improve liquidity in senior care services”.

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